13 Days Vietnam Whale Island

13 Days Vietnam Whale Island

With a blend of French cafes and uniquely local street food, colonial buildings, ancient temples, serene bays and iconic rivers cutting in through a lush landscape, Vietnam offers so much diversity that fits in neatly with the pace of this tour. Start with chaos, get use to it, settle into seclusion, dive right back into madness and then finish off with a nerve calming experience down the Mekong River. Yes, there is that reminder of its devastating past, there’s also the Halong Bay and the food but there’s more to Vietnam than just that and this tour encourages the adventurer to go out there and beyond.

  • Start Location : Hanoi Vietnam
  • Finish Location : Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
  • Trip Style : Comfort, Long Haul,
  • Country : Vietnam
  • Group Size : 2 to 16

Map

Inclusions


Accomodations

7 Night twin share hotel 2 night whale island resort 2 night over night train 1 night cruses boat

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Activities

Hanoi Orientation Walk, Temple of Literature,Halong Bay Cruise,Tu Duc Tomb, Perfume River Cruise, Thien Mu Pagoda, Imperial Citadel, Ancient Town Orientation Walk, Street Food Experience,Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, Cu Chi Tunnels,Mekong Delta Sightseeing including Sampan Ride

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Airport Transfer

Arrival & departure transfer included

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Local Tipping

Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport included

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Meals

12 breakfasts 4 lunches 4 dinners

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Transportation

Private bus, Overnight Train, Auto rickshaw, Boat, Boat Cruise, Private vehicle, Cycle rickshaw, Internal Flights

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Itinerary

Day 1
Hanoi
Day 2
Hanoi
Day 3
Ha Long
Day 4
Ha Long-Hanoi-Hue
Day 5
Hue
Day 6
Hue-Hoi An
Day 7
Hoi An
Day 8
Hoi An
Day 9
Whale Island
Day 10
Ho Chi Minh
Day 11
Ho Chi Minh
Day 12
Mekong Delta
Day 13
Ho Chi Minh

Day 01 Hanoi

Welcome to Hanoi! If you’re the kind who’s always biting at the bit to be up and about, you’ve got until the evening to wander around the streets nearby. Once you’ve got your bearings and had a little taste of the Hanoi air return to the hotel where your tour leader will catch up with you and the rest of the group at 6 pm. Multi task later as you ease into the wonderful culinary delights that Hanoi has to offer whilst simultaneously trying to get to know your travel companions just a little better.

Day 02 Hanoi

Take a walk through the Old Quarters that speaks about a history characterized by Chinese, French and Vietnamese influence. Most of the sights are easy to get around to here because it’s a compact area sharing space with street vendors, colonial buildings, Buddhist temples and the inevitable traffic. Watch the day unfold as you make your way through the streets that transition chameleon like from bamboo laden merchandise to silk to – to – you name it. Absorb a slice of life, observing the many folks who go about their daily lives here and then make an exploratory foray into the Temple of Literature, Vietnam’s first university, to understand the hierarchy of education in the old days. There’s still a lot to do in Hanoi and if the constant bustle makes you want to slow down a bit, amble around the Hoan Kiem Lake or participate in a Vietnamese Tea Tradition.

Day 03 Ha Long

Today we’ll be driving to Halong Bay. The drive is approximately 4 hours but an interesting one nevertheless allowing a sneak peek at the life of ordinary Vietnamese farmers, bent over a sea of green paddy fields. With picture postcard backdrops and emerald green waters sprinkled with sky-high islets, Halong Bay is perhaps the most photographed region of Vietnam, and not without reason. Step on board your cruiser, your accommodation for the night and get closer to these gigantic limestone monoliths that emerge out of the water like a primeval creature calcified for eternity. Depending on the weather, make ripples in the water as you swim up to some sandy banks or thread your way gently on your own kayak as you paddle through the limestone tunnels and the base of Karst Mountains.

Day 04 Ha Long-Hanoi-Hue

Welcome the dawn as it coaxes you into wakefulness with a gentle bobbing of the waters and a mild sun that draws out the sampans, twisting and turning to seek the mornings catch. After breakfast, capture a few more memories of the bay and then head back to Hanoi where you can wander at will until we head to the railway station to catch an overnight train to Hue. While conditions on board the sleeper trains are basic, overnight trains are a wonderful opportunity to experience long distance travel the way locals do. Most trains have a dining carriage with simple food on the menu but you can carry your own if you wish.

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Day 05 Hue

After arrival at Hue in the morning, drop your luggage, freshen up and fortify yourself with breakfast before flinging yourself at a cruise along the Perfume River, unearthing as you do fantastic stories and myths that swirl along with its current. Observe Hue from the river, testing its rhythms from a distance and then approach it from closer, first, by visiting the Tu Duc Tomb that reveals secrets of the last Vietnamese Imperial Family traditions. Then the Thien Mu Pagoda, built in 1601, suffused in legends, but still relevant with modern associations that mark the site.

Day 06 Hue-Hoi An

Start the day early by entering the Imperial Citadel and then trudging deeper into its folds until you get to the Forbidden Purple City – a vestige of the last feudal dynasties and its architectural style dating back to the 1800s. While the crumbling ruins talk about the effects of time on its wall as well as the wars to which it was exposed – some more recent than others – it also speaks about the general history of the city and more intimately about the lives of the royals, their entourage and global influences that played part in shaping their destinies. Learn about these and other stories that make Hue not just a cosmetic delight but a cerebral one as well!  Later in the forenoon, drive to Hoi An (approximately 5 hours) via the coastal road making a quick pit stop at the fishing village of Lang Co and then driving through the Hai Van Pass that splits a blanket of green forest cover on either side and overlooks the spectacular and biggest natural lagoon in Southeast Asia.

Day 07 Hoi An

Slip on your walking shoes and grind them right down at the heels as you meander through the Old Town with your tour leader after breakfast. Unlike most other places in Vietnam, the Old Town allows you to breeze through the streets without having to spin away from a leaping traffic so take your time to wander through its languid quarters. Pass through the bright yellow buildings crisscrossed by lanterns and the perennial lougainvillea bushes that lodge themselves on the side streets and walls of this UNESCO world heritage site, and get a sense of history as you do it – Hoi An being a major international port during the 16th century that saw the passage of Japanese, Chinese, Europeans and Indians amongst others and continue to leave their mark in the old buildings, landmarks and gardens that dot the area.  There’s much to do here after the orientation walk and strolling around the place can throw up so many possibilities. Enroll yourself in a noodle making class – an initiative that aids street kids, try your hand at lantern making, get some bespoke tailoring done to add to your wardrobe, go scuba diving or even hit a rural patch on a bike. If you haven’t worn out the soles of your shoes by the end of the day there’s more opportunity on the way at 5 pm as we make an organized dash for the street food scene that’s perhaps one of the best in Vietnam!

Day 08 Hoi An

Start off from where you left yesterday because you’ve got the entire day to discover the charms of Hoi An on your own. However, if you’re up for a dose of culture, start early to visit the ruins of My Son Sanctuary Temple Complex that lies like a patchwork of rust brown bricks knitted in a background of a green forest. One of the most important centres of Cham culture – an ethnic group of Southeast Asia – the temples hark back at an age when Indian influences and its religion played a major role in shaping the architectural style of the region. Walk through the cluster of temples here at leisure while unveiling its legends and stories that are the key to unlocking some of its aura and mystique. As the evening settles in, wave Hoi An goodbye and prepare to go to Danang from where we board an overnight train to Nha Trang.

Day 09 Whale Island

Change things up just a little and shift to a lower gear by getting off the grid and spending some time away from the crowd. Lie back in the secluded beaches of Whale Island where the clear blue water rushes at your feet and coconut trees whisper a gentle tune. Go wind surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling or swimming in the clear waters and share the watery expanse with some vivid marine life that burst through coral reefs in an explosion of colour. If you’re shy of getting your feet wet, trace your steps among some of the trails around the island and watch the landscape come alive from a vantage point. All in all, enjoy this little pocket of paradise and recharge your batteries before getting to Saigon.

Day 10 Ho Chi Minh

There’s more of what was in store yesterday. If you’ve missed out on the opportunity to access some of the activities on offer you’ve still got time to hop on board. Surf the transparent waters of the ocean or skim through the placid currents on kayaks. You have all the time in the world until late afternoon when we prepare to catch a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Day 11 Ho Chi Minh

With the country’s association with the French, Dutch, and the Chinese it’s easy to see how the architectural influence has transposed themselves in many of the buildings around Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Take a whirlwind tour of the city and explore its most important sites starting with the Central Post Office, an establishment that fuses gothic and renaissance elements in its architecture. Find out the city’s links with France as you observe the Notre Dame Cathedral rising neatly in the aptly named Paris Square. Tread through the rooms of the Reunification Palace, a Vietnamese construction that bears witness to Vietnam’s not so recent past and then stop by the War Remnants Museum that recalls the war with America through stock footages, photos, documents and equipment. Take a breather for lunch and then step right into contemporary history again by visiting and going deeper into the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground channels that were built to escape detection from French and American troops and served as a veritable underground city during the war.

Day 12 Mekong Delta

Drive out of Saigon after breakfast this morning and float down the iconic Mekong delta. Step on board your river cruise and watch life pass by along the banks and in the very river as the locals go about their daily work. Disembark and lose yourself for a moment amidst the farmers, artisans and charming little villages that get sustenance from the river and then clamber aboard a sampan to negotiate the narrower channels of the river to grab an offering of peace that only the countryside can provide. This is the last day of your Vietnam adventure but before waking up to reality, there’s still a farewell dinner in the evening to hold on to and stay wrapped in this bubble of a truly magnificent holiday experience.

Day 13 Ho Chi Minh

It’s time now to bid farewell to your tour leader and new friends but not without a backpack full of memories. Departure Transfers are included on the day. Please consult with your tour leader or the hotel desk to confirm the check out time. Looking to extend your holiday check out our 9 Days Wonders of Cambodia.

Our Hotels


A Hand Up Hotel

At A Hand Up Villas you'll be steps from Riverside Hoi An and 2.6 km (1.6 mi) from Hoi An Ancient Town. Highlights at this hotel include a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool you can stop by the hotel's own lounge bar. Enjoy the kids' swimming pool and pool loungers as well as access to scooter/moped rentals and free bike rentals.

Dyn Opera Hotel

Situated in Ho Chi Minh City, DYN OPERA HOTEL is a 5-minute walk from the Saigon Opera House. The hotel is a 10-minute walk to Ben Thanh Market and a 30-minute drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Nguyen Hue walking street, War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace are within a walking distance from the property.

Thang Long Espana Hanoi Hotel

Only few steps to Opera House, strategically located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Modern designed hotel is on quiet 187m Cao Ba Quat street, surrounded by the city's vibrant business and entertainment district. Thang Long Espana Hanoi Hotel is just a short walk from popular attractions such as the Opera House, Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Ben Thanh Market, War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace. Thang Long Espana Hanoi Hotel will be the perfect spot for your relaxing stays with cosy accommodation and great experience in a friendly, dynamic, welcoming atmosphere.

Dates


Start
Finish
Monday
08 Aug 2022
Saturday
20 Aug 2022
Available
$1,285
+$305
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Monday
19 Sep 2022
Saturday
01 Oct 2022
Available
$1,285
+$305
Book Now
Monday
17 Oct 2022
Saturday
29 Oct 2022
Available
$1,285
+$305
Book Now
Monday
21 Nov 2022
Saturday
03 Dec 2022
Available
$1,285
+$305
Book Now
Monday
19 Dec 2022
Saturday
31 Dec 2022
Available Christmas and New Year
$1,285
+$305
Book Now

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